Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Portland bites and bits!

A few of my favorite local enjoyments, plus a bit of PDX food news....
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Still one of the best dining deals in town is the three course for $24 dinner at Tabla. We went a few weeks ago and loved it. Went again with friends last week and it was still stellar. For your money you get a great app, a primi of pasta or in my case a delicious preparation of De Puy lentils (if these are still on the menu, grab 'em!), and a choice of entrées. All of ours were spot on, and my duck confit leg (left) nailed it. Plus they don't skimp on their portions, and with a bargain like this you'll have plenty of dough left to spring for one of their desserts. If you're going to burn through some $4+ gas going out, you've gotta save your hard earned dollars where you can!
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Also had another great experience at my favorite Thai restaurant in PDX, Mai Thai. Once again w and I were really impressed with the quality and obvious care that goes into ach dish. Everything was perfectly cooked, and plated with an obvious nod to the "you eat with your eyes first" theory. The special daikon fritter appetizer (left) and the Fantastic Tofu entrée were particularly satisfying.
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One of my newest Monday day off traditions (a.k.a. addictions) has been to head down to Caffé Umbria in the Pearl District to have the best cappuccino in town. And what's better than walking into this outpost of Italian authenticity at 11am and having a good percentage of Portland's Italian contingent sitting in Umbria's side room watching an Italian soccer match on TV, yelling, moaning, clapping along with the action. Awesome!
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Another spot I hadn't been to for months is Justa Pasta in NW. My last vist to JP w and I really enjoyed the casual ambience and quality pasta choices. Justa Pasta is a Portland fresh pasta producer who supply many local restaurants. A few years ago they opened the restaurant, and have been satisfying savvy, budget-minded diners ever since. It's really a great deal. You walk in, turn left, and grab one of their menus off the rack. After making your choice from their wide list of pastas (in small or large portions which is a nice touch) and salads, step up to the counter, place your order, choose your table and wait to be satisfied, because I know you will be! I went yesterday with mom for lunch as she lives nearby and hadn't been there. Mom picked their Three Cheese Ravioli with Alfredo (above left) and I had their Fettucine with Bolognese (right). We also shared their caesar, which was a pretty good rendition. Mom's alfredo wasn't too heavy, which is always a concern with this much abused pasta sauce. My bolognese was quite good as well, and I had ordered the very generous large portion, knowing I'd have some leftover for lunch today. At $6.95 for mom's not-so-small dish and $8.95 for my large bowl of bolognese, this is bargain eating at its best!
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Coming Attractions: I just received a press release that in the space previously occupied by the here-today-gone-tomorrow Terroir on NE Fremont and MLK, a new restaurant called Belly will be opening sometime in July. Besides loving the name, their menu looks inviting in that "lots of things look good" way, and quite reasonably priced. Being opened by locals Cameron and Linda Addy who have had experience at places like Gary Danko in SF, and locals Caprial's, Mint, Giorgio's, and Lucere among others, their plan is “to create a place where we would want to eat. Whether on a date, with our toddler in tow or meeting with friends, we wanted a place that met our everyday needs.“ With a nice lineup of starters a couple of pastas and pizzas, and mains that run from a burger, pan-roasted duck breast, halibut, or a culotte steak and fries, it looks promising. I'll keep you updated.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i will be seeing you on NE MLk.